Submitted by Craig Devenport.
The first chapter of Mark has it all. Angels, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and even Satan are all in the same place at the same time, during the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and Jesus’ temptation by Satan.
The presence of John the Baptist arriving on the scene was the sign, the signal, and the moment that told Jesus to leave Nazareth and begin his ministry.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” (Mark 1:9-13)
Jesus needed to be baptized as the first step or sign of the beginning of his ministry. As one commentator said: It was a moment of decision; it was a moment of identification; it was a moment of approval; it was a moment of equipping.
When he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. A voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” This is one of the only places in the Bible where all three persons of the Trinity are in the same place at the same time! This makes it one of the more important events in Jesus’ life.
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. “…and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels attended him.” Here we see that Jesus was tempted and triumphed, something humanity could not do. We are united in Christ, so that his victory might be our victory; so that when we are tempted, we can look to him.
Why was it important for Mark to provide these details? Mark wanted to stress to his readers that Jesus is the only road to salvation. The Maker of Heaven and earth declared Jesus to be his chosen one. He is real; He is credible; He is alive in us today!